Updated: Sep 15, 2021
Violin and Viola Instructor
Sara began violin studies at the age of 6 at Community Music School in New Haven, CT and played in workshops with Shinichi Suzuki. Later training with Maxine Weber led to years of playing in local orchestras, chamber groups and with colleagues. Sara now maintains an active private home studio of violin and viola students of all ages, coaches student chamber groups, and is on faculty at the Trenton Community Music School as a violin and viola teacher. She is assistant concertmaster of the Westminster Community Orchestra and is a member of Westminster’s Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra. She is well versed in the Suzuki Method and is obtaining Suzuki certification. Sara has a kind and patient way with students and works with them to develop a beautiful sound, careful listening, and a love and understanding of all kinds of music and musical contexts. Music reading and theory are integrated with listening and ear training, and effective practicing habits are always a top priority. Several of her students are members of the Youth Orchestra of Bucks County, the Greater Princeton Youth Orchestra, and are section principals in their school orchestras.
Violin and Viola Instructor
Stephani earned her Bachelor and Master degrees from the Eastman School of Music, is an alumna of the Juilliard School, and attended Northwestern University where she held a graduate teaching fellowship under Gerardo Ribiero. Ms. Bell has held positions with the Rochester Philharmonic, the Portland Symphony, the New Hampshire Symphony and the Vermont Symphony. While pursuing her career in the NY metropolitan area for several years she performed with and was a member of such groups as the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the American Composer's Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, the New Jersey Symphony, the New York Pops and several Broadway shows. Ms. Bell most recently held a position for several years at Lafayette College as music director of the Lafayette Chamber orchestra, chamber ensembles and violin professor. As a chamber musician, she has performed with Classicopia of Dartmouth College, the Satori Ensemble, and is currently an active member of Penn Strings Ensemble. Ms. Bell has taught at Cannon Music Camp at Appalachian State University, the Luzerne Music Center with Elizabeth Pitcairn and participated in the Lake George Opera Festival.
Locally, Stephani performs with the Pennsylvania Sinfonia, the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, the Allentown Symphony and several other local ensembles and maintains an active private teaching studio and live performing schedule. Stephani enjoys working with students of all ages and skill levels at The Conservatory.
Violin, Viola, Cello & Bass Instructor
Raised in a very musical family, whose father Joseph dePasquale, was the former Principal Violist of the Philadelphia Orchestra; Mr. D started cello lessons at an early age with his uncle Francis dePasquale; former cellist in the Philadelphia Orchestra. He also studied with Samuel Mayes, William Stokking, Orlando Cole & Mihaly Virizlay. Throughout his extensive professional performance career, Mr. D has played with several well-known music organizations in the area, including: the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Philly Pops, the Concerto Soloists, the Delaware Symphony & the Allentown Symphony. Currently, he performs with the Ocean City Pops, the Reading Symphony, the Kennett Symphony and his own chamber ensemble, the Main Line Chamber Players. Mr. dePasquale is also equally experienced in the field of education. He recently retired after 30 years from the West Chester Area School District. Mr. D’s responsibilities there ranged from training beginning Violins, Violas, Cellos & Basses, to directing & coaching several of the secondary orchestra programs, which involved weekly rehearsals and group lessons for all string instruments. While there, Mr. D also served as the director of an award winning extra-curricular string ensemble: The West Chester Senior Strings. This group consistently earned 1st Place Rankings, near perfect Superior Scores and Grand Champion Trophies. In 2016, they won the OrlandoFest National Championship Trophy, beating out an entire 14 week season roster of instrumental ensembles. In addition, Mr. D taught at Immaculata University, for many years, as the String Ensemble director and String Methods instructor and is now currently, the String Ensemble director at Ursinus College. His education includes a Bachelors Degree in Music Performance from the New School of Music (a private conservatory that is now part of Temple University); Graduate studies at Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, MD and the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts (now called the University of the Arts); PA Teachers Certification from West Chester University and a Masters Degree in Music Therapy from Immaculata University.
Albena is a professional Violinist and Music Educator with over 30 years of experience performing and teaching all over the world. She began studying the violin at age of 5 with her father, also a violin performer and teacher. Albena earned her Master Degree in Music Performance and Education from the Bulgarian State Academy of Music in Sofia. She is continuing her education with the University of Florida as a second Master degree in Music education. Albena Stoykova studied chamber music-quartet, with the world renowned professor Dimo Dimov, who encouraged the quartet to pursue a professional career. Albena taught and performed internationally for 10 years in Bulgaria (Bulgarian Radio Orchestra, The Teather for the Youth Orchestra, Bulgarian Military Ensemble) and South Africa before moving to the United States. In South Africa she performed with the National Chamber Orchestra in Mmabatho and was teaching at Mmabana Music School. Albena has been a popular teacher at Settlement Music School for over 20 years in addition to teaching at The Conservatory and previously St. Basil Academy and The George school. She has also enjoyed performing with the Bucks County Symphony Orchestra, Musica 2000 Orchestra and Bulgarian State Conservatory Orchestra. Albena has a passion for developing and directing All Violin String Ensembles. She encourages her students to gain experience playing with other musicians whenever possible. In 2018 her Violin ensemble, Silver Strings, was chosen to perform at a concert organized by the National Music Talent Search- Celebration of Music. Albena’s students were accepted in Bucks county Youth Orchestra, All City Orchestra, Sinfonia Orchestra in Philadelphia and others.